Thursday, March 03, 2011

3179 Best Laid Plans, blah blah

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Pardoning the bad is injuring the good.


Remember I said we nonprofessionals can be forgiven errors, but professionals must be held to a higher standard? This is from a few days ago, about a herd of goats that got loose on a highway: "After nearly 20 hours of wandering, and wrecking havoc, around 60 nannies and billies are back under control."

Listen my children, and learn. "Havoc" is a state of chaos. It IS a wreck. So it doesn't make any sense to "wreck" havoc. The word the writer was looking for was "wreak". You wreak havoc. The two words are even pronounced differently. Another case of someone having heard and then used an expression without thinking about, let alone understanding, it.


Tuesday I headed north to the old house with the newly patched up Fred. His pink leak was transmission fluid, seals now fixed. I filled some more garbage bags, and packed up more stuff to bring south. I was very tired by 8 pm, went to bed with some crossword puzzles, and was asleep within minutes.

I had brought some things for Wednesday's breakfast and mid-morning snack, but needed to go out for lunch, so when I went into the village, I stopped in at Piper's office. Piper wasn't there, but his daughter was, and she said he'd gone to the Italian restaurant for takeout for their lunch. She called him, and he said he'd bring back her sandwich, and then he'd go to lunch with me.

Fine. But.

It took him a half hour to return, and then there were "a few things to be done" before we could go to the diner, and my one hour allotted for lunch (including the drive) turned into two and a half. Or more. I wanted to leave to head back south by 5 pm, and didn't get back to the house to load the van until 3.

When I arrived back at the old house after lunch with Piper, The Hairless Hunk followed me up the driveway. I would have liked to talk more with him, but I really needed to load the van and get moving, so I'm afraid I gave him short shrift.

I got back to the new house about 7 pm last night, parked Fred and turned him off, and ... his tail lights stayed on. His lights stay on for a while when you turn him off, so I didn't notice at first, until I went out for a cigarette about an hour later and wondered what the red glow on the driveway behind him was.

I tried everything I could think of - turned headlights on and off, tried the emergency brake on an off, started him and tried turn signals and then turned him off, but the tail lights stayed on.

Ack! Battery! Death of!

I went into the house to get his book (still in the house from when I was looking up his pink fluids), and when I came back out, the lights were off.

I had a slew of things to do today, like take a load of fabric to the storage facility, pick up a 4' stepladder at Home Depot, deposit some checks, grocery shop, pick up a "raincheck" order at the CVS, and so on. Most of it didn't get done because I had to go to the dealership and get Fred's lights fixed. And yup, again they stayed on when I turned him off.

Turns out it was some of his handicap wiring had rubbed some regular wiring, and caused a short in the switch. $208.33 and a few hours later, the switch was replaced.

In the service department waiting room, I was reading a Time magazine, and another woman about my age was reading a book. A man came in, also about our age, sat between us, and made a cell phone call. A very LOUD chatty call. It was impossible to read. Hey, he's our age! He should know better! When he finished that call, and then dialed another, I slapped the magazine on my thigh, and the other woman slammed her book closed and slapped the cover, we glanced at each other, and glared at him. I said to her, very loudly, (I had to be loud to be heard over him), "Well, maybe we could read aloud." It didn't seem to faze him, but maybe, because he talked only a few more minutes before saying, "I'll call you later" and hanging up.

He has to be the most dense man ever, because even though I had gone back to my magazine and was engrossed, he then proceeded to "chat me up." He got one-word responses. He finally took the hint and moved to the sales area.

Too bad. He was actually kind of good looking.

I never did make it to the grocery store or the CVS. Ice cream for dinner!

Monday, February 28, 2011

3178 Why I disliked poetry professors

Monday, February 28, 2011

Consensus is a political concept, not a scientific one.


Introduction to Poetry
---Billy Collins

I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide
or press an ear against its hive.
I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,
or walk inside the poem's room
and feel the walls for a light switch.
I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author's name on the shore.
But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.
They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.

I think I'd have been ok with Billy. Enjoy the words, explore the content, but if you REALLY want to know what a poem means, you'd have to tie the poet to a chair and beat it out of him/her.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

3177 If you're watching...

Sunday, February 27, 2011

“A stupid man’s report of what a clever man says can never be accurate,
because he unconsciously translates what he hears
into something he can understand.”
-- Bertrand Russell --


... the Oscars, Marisa Tomei just introduced a group shot of the technical award winners.

That's what Jay's father won in the mid '90s. They don't get the statuette. They get a gold medallion on a wood plaque. I touched it....


A little research: According to IMDb, he won in 1991, but Jay and I weren't married until 1994, and I distinctly remember Fred going to California, and getting the award at a presentation dinner the night before the Oscars, that's when they do the technical awards, and I was horrified that he took his ancient rusty moth-eaten tuxedo to wear. When he came back, he showed us the medallion, right there in our kitchen, and then Kodak took it and put it in the Kodak "trophy case". So I don't see how it could have been 1991. Something's wrong somewhere. I think IMDb might have it wrong.


Later: Some more research - In 1988 and again in 1994 he was also awarded gold medals by The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers. Hmmmm.


Sigh. Further research. I went directly into the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences data base - and that says he won the Academy Award in 1990. Heh. IMDb, and several other websites that say 1991, are, in fact, wrong. And it must have been the SMPTE medal he showed me, not the Academy award.

How annoying.

3176 Loosening the noose

Sunday, February 27, 20011

You know you're in law school when you consider dropping out of school approximately every hour,
but after that first semester you realize you are already in too much debt
to be anything but a lawyer.


A lot has happened since yesterday's posts. Zig has been very helpful, informative, protective, and supportive. He even engaged FW in casual conversation and determined that in fact she will NOT be attending the gathering next weekend. The report that she was going was perhaps a misunderstanding. (No one else wanted to ask her directly for fear that if they asked, it would make her want to go, and she'd hit them up for a ride and a room.)

That's a major relief. I think I'll forgive Zig all his past transgressions and even allow him a few free future ones. And others have raised a small army of volunteer bodyguards who said they'd make sure I was always surrounded by people at the gathering.

People who don't know her wonder why she frightens me so much. People who do know her understand. When she's "in a state", all the normal governors are off, she's absolutely unpredictable, and she's strangely obsessed with me. Bad combination.

Zig has expressed surprise that she is suddenly friendly toward him, calls and chatting over the past week or so. She's got me so paranoid right now that I'm thinking maybe she's being so friendly with him because she knows he and I don't get along very well, he always knows what's going on in the group, and she's subtly milking him for information - like what I might be doing to undermine her, what others think about how I have been attacking her (the attacks are in her mind only, no one else sees it that way, but in her view that's what's going on, and I don't understand that at all), and so on.


This is weird. When the month changes, or the year changes, I sometimes use the old month or year on checks and the blog until I get used to it. This past week I've been using "October" instead of "February" when I date blog posts. I seem to really think it's October.

I'm surprised no one noticed and razzed me about it. I went back and fixed the posts, but now I'm concerned about why. Am I really that whacked? Or is it a warning, that something significant will happen in October? I'm sure it's next October. In fact, this morning I thought, "Oh, wow, today is my birthday." I really thought for a moment that it is now October.

For a long time, the first week of October was a bad time. That's when Jay had his first seizure, his first recurrence of the tumor, and so on for the four years of his fight. Every October, the first week brought some very bad news, and it continued that way for several more years.

I guess we'll have to wait a few more months to see what happens.

Remember - you heard it here first (whatever it is....)


There are people who use the U.S. motto, "In God We Trust", and the words in the pledge, "under God", as PROOF! that the country was formed as religious-based.

They don't know their history. The reference to a god was added to the pledge in 1954, and the motto, which first appeared on coins during the Civil War, was adopted as the official motto in 1956.

The Founding Fathers had nothing to do with either.

The pledge was written by a Baptist minister in the early 1890s, and the later "under God" was added by a chaplain, and promulgated by the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic organization. They of course refer to their god. Regardless of any other consideration, my opinion is that requiring one to pledge allegiance "under God" is the establishment and endorsement of a particular version of religion as official, and therefore is expressly prohibited by the Constitution.

Oof. I don't know where that rant came from.... Some pompous ass on TV must have gotten to me.

3175 Interesting Observation

Sunday, February 27, 2011

"Some editors are failed writers, but so are most writers".
T.S. Eliot --


As you've probably heard, corporations are now "people" -- humanoids that are equivalent to you and me.

Since the 13th Amendment bans slavery, which is the ownership of a person, the newly born corporate "persons" cannot legally be bought and sold. Thus Wall Street -- now a slave market -- must be shut down! Let us all join hands and march for this new civil rights cause, chanting, "Free the Corporate Slaves!"

From AlterNet, By Jim Hightower